Measuring car-crime in france : victimisation surveys and police statistics since the mid 1980s

by Renée ZAUBERMAN, Philippe ROBERT, Sophie NÉVANEN and David BON – december 2011


This is the next of a series of presentations, by Penal Issues, of studies on crime trends. The series started with papers on homicide (September 2008) and non-lethal personal violence (December 2008), personal theft (June 2010), and burglary (March 2011). The present paper, based on work by Renée ZAUBERMAN, Philippe ROBERT, Sophie NÉVANEN and David BON, on contract with the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, is devoted to car crime.


Measuring crime is a complex operation for which research, following early work based exclusively on institutionally produced data (court statistics at first, more recently police statistics) has attempted to diversify its sources,. Because many illegal acts are not recorded in statistics recounting police and gendarmerie activity, social sciences have developed specific tools devised to take hold of them. One of these tools is known as the victimisation survey, which interrogates sampled populations on the offences to which they claim to have been prey over a given period of time. This paper compares estimations from these two sources, in order to observe the trends in car crime in France since the mid 1980s.


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